An Inside Look At The ! Kung / San Essay

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An Inside Look at the !Kung/San The !Kung/San people are thought to be the oldest known society in the history of mankind. Their model of society is the base for most advanced societies today, even though they were formally considered to be primitive. The word primitive is no longer applied in anthropology because it involves an ethnocentric view; which judges other culture based on your own, instead of trying to understand them from that culture’s perspective. These people are also considered the original affluent society as stated by Marshall Sahlins. Their affluence is considered to be high due to their ability to live fully on very little supplies and do not have a materialistic desire. The ethnography written by Marjorie Shostak called Nisa is about her study of the !Kung/San culture. Part of Nisa’s culture that Shostak learned about was the gender roles and how it influenced the daily lives of the !Kung/San people. A band society type which is the most simple according to Sezgin (1), the !Kung/San people are a great representation of how it works. They operate on an egalitarian system which means “no hierarchy nor ranks” (Sezgin), their only version of a status or advancement is based on gender and age. The elders have the highest status and men hold a higher status than women. The band society consists of hunter and gathers “people live in semi-permanent villages or camps numbering from about ten to thirty individuals” (Shostak, 7). These groups are very close…

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